Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Points for a Private Retreat
One of our Maryknollers who was interested in getting Catholics to spend time in a private retreat recommended working with a game at the beginning of the retreat.
1) Write in a journal twenty words that I think describe me and my personality.
2) Reflect on each of these terms, I will make any changes that seem needed.
3) Mark each item that I consider to be good with an X.
4) Count the number of Xs and multiply by five.
Example, if the total is 75, this means that about 75% of the time I have a good opinion of myself and that I like myself that much . This is really an exercise which helps me to get some insight into what I think about myself and whether I like myself or not. 75% would actually be higher than a lot of people give themselves.
Another way for me to look at this game is to note that it is like scoring God's work. In the above example I gave God 75% for the job he did in creating me. When I read the first chapter of Genesis, I discover that God looked at what was created and said "this is very good." That means that God gave creation at least a 90% rating. When God created me God said, "this is very good." Am I saying something different from God? Is there something here I need to reflect on and do something about? The first chapter of Genesis says very clearly that God likes me and loves me and thinks of me as good. Do I think differently? Am I calling God wrong?
During the retreat, and later on , It is a good idea for me to reflect on the various words I used to describe myself. This kind of mediation can very often help me to gain a deeper understanding of myself and put me in a better position to improve my relationship with God. It can also give me insights into the kinds of things that I may need to reform my life. Many things are here for which I need to say thanks to God. Most likely there are also things for which I need to say I m sorry, forgive me Lord , and help me to change what needs to be changed.